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How To Style Rectangular Tiles: All Shapes, Sizes & Styles

How To Style Rectangular Tiles: All Shapes, Sizes & Styles

Rectangular tiles are probably the most popular tile shapes on the market. We’re discussing why they’re adored by homeowners as well as introducing our new range of grey, rectangular tiles: Maverick.


Rectangular tiles are probably the most popular tile shape on the market. They’re super functional, flatter any living space and they can be laid in several tile patterns, giving you flexibility with design.

Useful link: One of the many amazing benefits with rectangular tiles is that there are so many ways to lay them. From brick-bond, herringbone, linear or basketweave and that’s only a handful. Check out our Top 7 Tile Patterns that you need to know before you invest in your original tile layout.

Just like square tiles, rectangular tiles are available in a variety of sizes, textures, colours and more. One, in particular, that is famous with big fashion brand, Vogue, is subway tiles.

Vogue’s Early 20th Century Tile Trend

So, what are subway tiles? A clue is in the name: they’re a subset of rectangular tiles that were used in the early 20th century to decorate subway stations, including one of the most famous, New York City Hall subway.

Most commonly, homeowners are using these tiles for wall applications, like kitchen splashbacks or for bathroom walls. However, as time goes on, designers are starting to experiment more and lay them on the floor and other, alternative spaces, too.

Varying sizes are also being created, like larger subway style tiles and larger rectangular tiles in general, due to rectangular tiles cementing their mark on the interior design front.

We’re seeing matte subway tiles, patterned subway tiles, large glossy rectangular tiles taking inspiration from the shades, textures and architecture within the subway station and more. As a result, there’s a shift from the small styles to large rectangle tiles.

Our designers took inspiration from this change in preferences to create a large, rectangular tile that combines the shape of the subway tile, the marbled effect found in New York’s iconic Grand Central Station and the current, most popular shade: grey. We bring you Maverick tiles!

We’re going to take a look at how to style them as well as bringing our many other, very different but equally as beautiful, rectangular tile choices into your home.

#1: To enlarge small spaces

First of all, we’ll start by looking at our new range of Maverick tiles. As they’re designed in dimensions 370 x 750 mm, they’re a large format, rectangular tile that’s perfect for expanding the size of your floor and walls.

With larger tiles, you’ll find that there are fewer grout lines breaking up the flow of the flooring. You can further cater to this effect by opting for a coloured grout that’s of a similar shade. Our Maverick tiles come in colours Anthracite, Grey and White so you have a selection of neutral tones to choose from.

Top tip: It’s important that if you have a particularly small room, you choose a tile similar to Maverick. Any tile that’s larger than 450 x 450 mm can be overpowering in the space and create the opposite effect, shrinking the space.

So, when it comes to styling Maverick tiles, there’s plenty of tile patterns you can lay them and ways to accessorise them to create a contemporary, spacious room. The below example shows them laid in a vertical, linear pattern and finished with matching grout to create an illusion of big, marbled walls.

To further maximise the space, everything from small furnishings like mirrors and hanging plant pots to the bigger furniture like the toilet sink is mounted to the wall to make the room feel less cluttered, giving you more wall and floor space. It also helps that the number of accessories within the room are limited and kept to neutral shades to keep to a calming, minimalistic theme.

From the image, you can see that we’ve paired the rectangle wall tiles with large, square floor tiles in the same design. The rectangular wall tiles laid vertically, help to elongate the wall space and the square tiles help to open up the floor both width and length-ways.

Moreover, not only are Maverick rectangular tiles are great for enlarging a space, their marble-effect patterning adds texture to the space, making it feel cosy.

Useful link: Learn more about how to lay and style, square tiles here. Or, alternatively, shop our Maverick Grey square tiles.

#2: To widen a long, narrow hallway

Homeowners with a long, rectangular room, like a galley kitchen or a hallway within a terraced property or similar, may find it best to use plank-like rectangular floor tiles.

By laying them length-ways across the floor in a brick-bond pattern, you can instantly widen the floor. One tile, in particular, that is best suited to this plank-like pattern is our Umbra, wood-effect, rectangle tiles. The wood-effect detailing within these tiles creates thin, brush-stroke lines that add to this widening effect.

We’ve styled them with bright, lime green furniture, added splashes of sea blue through small accessories and incorporated beach-theme decor to create a modern yet nautical room set. Great for a bathroom, kitchen or living space - whatever floats your boat!

#3: To add luxury to a bathroom

If you find the right rectangular bathroom tiles, you can really luxe-up your bath space to emit elegance and expense - without the expense. Typically, white or grey marble tiles are favoured for this kind of look as they’re often found in expensive, mansion-like properties to signify wealth for the sheer cost of marble. We can see why here...

The above room style is achieved by incorporating our Mont Blanc Marble tiles. Style with matte black furniture and detailing to create clear edges and bordering in a truly captivating, marble bathroom.

In contrast, although many designers tend to stick to white or grey rectangle tiles when it comes to creating luxury, it’s important to consider other options. We want to show that luxury isn’t just found in rectangular, marble tiles and instead, it can be added through “crushed, glitter-effect” black tiles or linear-detailed, blue polished tiles.

By using either tile to cover the entire bathroom, the room becomes a hub of seamless tranquillity that you can transport to for ultimate relaxation.

Fancy another product option? Our new range of grey, marble-effect, rectangular tiles, Maverick, would also work well to create a luxurious presence.

#4: For a “black and white” theme

A monochromatic bathroom is highly recognised by major fashion houses including Elle Decor. Black and white is such a stark contrast, there’s almost no need to try and create a statement in another way.

Whether you have a rustic farmhouse, a modern family home or a sleek, city loft, the pairing of black and white never fails to elevate the aesthetic of a space. Although pairing white walls with black cabinets and decor is a popular option, we want to focus our attention to the floor only.

Often, when creating such a dramatic statement through a monochrome theme, homeowners and even professional designers can find it daunting to focus the attention to the floor. Particularly if the room is small, you can automatically assume that you’ll make it too chaotic and overwhelming with such a bold interior.

We’re challenging this by combining black rectangle tiles with white rectangle tiles, laid in a vertical-linear, alternating pattern. Alternatively, you can create the same look with a slightly more subtle yet textured tile: Marmora White and Grey tiles.  

The fusion of very thin, rectangular tiles in a striped, alternating pattern works like a mosaic. They bring interest and focus to what could be perceived as an almost clinical white room. Positioning the tiles vertically and creating horizontal layers helps to widen and length the room - you get the best of both worlds.

#5: To create a diagonal pattern

Finally, we’re looking at how you can create a diagonal pattern to again, length your space and cater to those “pokey” rooms in the house that are a bit of an odd shape.

Crisp white Metro tiles defined by an inky grey or jet black grout can transform the space, creating a polished conception in the room.

Lying the floor tiles diagonally with the juxtaposition of vertically laid wall tiles really emphasises the difference in floor and wall space. In effect, it serves to make the space look larger as the eye wanders away with, what’s perceived as a never-ending pattern.

Product feature: Use our Elektra White Decor tiles or our Everest White tiles to add a subtle texture and extra layer of dimension to the living space.


Why Tile Giant?

We offer extremely competitive pricing on our entire range of tiles and our Maverick tiles are both competitive for retail and trade.

Our stock is widely available in our 90+ showrooms which are open to browse at your leisure.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to shop our tiles online, we can supply you with up to 3 free cut samples delivered for free.

Not only that but Tile Giant also offer a buyback service on any unused tiles (T&Cs apply), meaning you get great value for money.

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